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Nashua;41.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/nbkn.png;2014-11-01 07:05:38
Saturday, August 30, 2014

No. 4 UNH football upended at Toledo, 54-20

TOLEDO, Ohio – Sean Goldrich (West Haven, Conn.) matched career highs in passing yards (291) and attempts (39) with a personal-best 27 completions for the University of New Hampshire football team, but the University of Toledo overcame a 14-3 deficit to prevail 54-20 in Saturday night’s season opener for both teams at the Glass Bowl.

UNH, ranked No. 4 in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), lost to a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) opponent for the fifth consecutive year; the current streak was preceded by five straight wins against FBS foes. Toledo, the preseason favorite in the Mid-American Conference West Division, finished with 674 total yards of offense (314 rushing, 360 passing). ...

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TOLEDO, Ohio – Sean Goldrich (West Haven, Conn.) matched career highs in passing yards (291) and attempts (39) with a personal-best 27 completions for the University of New Hampshire football team, but the University of Toledo overcame a 14-3 deficit to prevail 54-20 in Saturday night’s season opener for both teams at the Glass Bowl.

UNH, ranked No. 4 in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), lost to a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) opponent for the fifth consecutive year; the current streak was preceded by five straight wins against FBS foes. Toledo, the preseason favorite in the Mid-American Conference West Division, finished with 674 total yards of offense (314 rushing, 360 passing).

Goldrich threw for TD passes of 35 yards to R.J. Harris (Odenton, Md.) and eight yards to Nico Steriti (Toms River, N.J.), and also ran for a four-yard score to account for all three UNH scores. Harris led the ‘Cats in both catches (nine) and receiving yards (149), as well as rushing yards with 16 on his only carry of the game. Jared Allison (Cliffwood, N.J.) finished with a career-high seven catches for 55 yards.

UNH’s defense was led by Daniel Rowe (Orange, N.J.; career-high 10 tackles), Nick Cefalo (Basking Ridge, N.J.; career-high nine tackles) and Akil Anderson (Morristown, N.J.; eight).

Toledo’s Phillip Ely was 24-of-34 for 337 yards and four TD passes. Alonzo Russell was the top target with six catches for 78 yards. Corey Jones had four receptions for 78 yards and a TD, and Justin Olack had a pair of TD catches on three receptions for 24 yards. Kareem Hunt was the Rockets’ top ground gainer with 20 carries for 136 yards and two touchdowns.

UNH won the coin toss and deferred, then Rowe broke up Ely’s pass attempt on 3rd-and-6 to force Toledo to punt. The Wildcats began their first drive of the 2014 season on their 29-yard line and Goldrich completed 5 of 6 passes for 72 yards to lead the ‘cats to a 7-0 lead at 9:08. Harris caught three passes for 56 yards, and he capped the drive with a 35-yard screen pass on the right side in which he was sprung by a crushing Austin Heter (McKees Rocks, Pa.) block at the UT 30.

The Rockets responded with an 11-play, 78-yard drive that culminated in a 22-yard field goal by Jeremiah Detmer to pull within 7-3 at 4:46. Toledo had 1st-and-goal at the UNH 9, but the drive stalled when Anderson stood up Marc Remy at the UNH 4 on second down followed by Anderson and Cefalo dropping Hunt for a one-yard loss.

After the teams exchanged punts, the Wildcats extended the lead to 14-3 at 7:43 of the second quarter on Goldrich’s five-yard quarterback keeper up the middle. After a UT pass interference infraction set up 1st-and-10 at the UNH 35, Goldrich completed four consecutive passes to Allison (eight yards), Kyon Taylor (Springfield, Va.; eight), Harris (12) and Mike Kelly (Merrimack, N.H.; four) to set up 2nd-and-6 at the UT 32. One down later, Goldrich ran around the left end for a nine-yard gain and a Rockets’ personal foul made it 1st-and-10 at the 12. Three plays later, the QB’s scoring rush capped a 13-play, 87-yard drive that consumed 6:04.

Toledo responded just 1:48 later on a 64-yard TD connection from Ely to Corey Jones to trim the deficit to 14-10 at 5:48; that score began a 27-0 surge by the Rockets.

On UNH’s ensuing drive, the Wildcats advanced the ball to the UT 47, but that’s where the drive ended. Brad Prasky (Groton, Mass.) booted a 43-yard punt that was downed at the UT 4 with 2:11 remaining in the first half.

Ely quickly guided the Rockets to the UNH 2 on five completions for 60 yards and Hunt took an inside handoff around the left guard for a two-yard scoring scamper to give the home team a 16-14 lead with 24 seconds on the clock; the snap was mishandled on the PAT to keep the margin at two points.

New Hampshire received the opening kickoff of the third quarter and on 4th-and-1 from its 38, Prasky was dropped for a one-yard loss on a designed fake punt to give Toledo 1st-and-10 at the UNH 37 with 13:00 on the clock.

Seven plays later, Hunt scored on another inside handoff in which he went around the left guard for a three-yard TD rush that extended the Rockets’ lead to 23-14 at 10:49.

Following a 3-and-out by the ‘Cats, Ely engineered a 7-play, 72-yard drive that ended with a nine-yard TD pass to Olack in the back of the end zone and gave the home team a 30-14 advantage at 7:02 of the third quarter.

UNH ended Toledo’s streak of 27 consecutive points on an 8-yard TD pass from Goldrich to Steriti, who caught the ball at the 6-yard line and battled through traffic in the middle to cross the goal line and bring the Wildcats within 30-20 at 4:33. On the 2-point attempt, Steriti’s run up the middle was initially ruled successful but was overturned upon review.

During that drive, Harris’ 32-yard reception, which gave the ‘Cats 1st-and-10 at the UT 35, put him ahead of John Perry (1989-92) for No. 4 on the program’s career receiving yardage list. Perry ended his career with 2,873 and Harris increased his overall total to 2,926 with his 149-yard effort.

UT closed the game on a 24-0 spurt. Olack’s second TD catch of the third quarter – this time from eight yards – capped an 11-play, 75-yard drive that gave the Rockets a 37-20 lead at 1:16 of the third quarter.

Jones-Moore scored on a four-yard scamper to extend the advantage to 44-20 at 12:10 of the fourth quarter and Ely’s 40-yard TD pass to Terry Swanson pushed the differential to 31 points at 10:27. Detmer’s 27-yard yard field goal closed the scoring, 54-20, at 4:05.

New Hampshire returns to action Sept. 13 for its home opener against Lehigh University. Kickoff at Cowell Stadium is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.